You might agree that we all need to do more of one thing. That is…Get outdoors and connect with the wild. By ‘the wild’, I mean the stuff that is not artificial — Otherwise, known as… nature!
Because of how we live our lives today, there is a huge disconnect. So, it’s important to think about ways to connect to nature consciously. Drones, telescopes, and GoPros are modern technologies that can help us gain a greater appreciation of the nature around us. They can help us educate others and broaden our perspective on life. The following are eight ways of connecting to the wild where you can capture the moment and have fun.
Forest bathing or shinrin-yoku is a Japanese practice of going out into the forest for wellbeing and health.
It was coined and promoted in 1982 by the Japanese government to encourage urbanites to immerse themselves in nature.
It is based on scientific principles of trees having healing properties¹ that naturally enhance your mood.
It relieves our stresses, increases our immune response, and activates our parasympathetic nervous system.
The phytoncides released by the trees help improve our airways and immune responses.
A forest is a place to unplug, awaken your spiritual side, and take the time to reflect and receive ideas.
What to capture:
- The colors, shapes, and textures of the forest life
- The movement and calls of forest life
- The robustness of the trees, the texture of the bark, the dampness around
- The blossoms
What not to do:
- Don’t taste what you haven’t accurately identified as edible
#2. Moonlit blooms
With this connection to the wild, you can beat the heat at least during summer and see nature at night.
When the sun sets, some flowers come alive under the cover of darkness. Jon White
Night-blooming plants produce the hormone, florigen, during the day to trigger blooms at night.
The true Queen of the Night is the Selenicereus grandiflorus, a large flowering cactus, which blooms once a year for one night only. Found in the Antilles, Mexico, and Central America, it is rarely seen in cultivation, and so to capture this particular species would be a truly wild experience.
There are many plants in this range, however, and include this large list of night blooming flora.
What to capture:
- The hue of the moonlit flora
- The shadows
- The night sky
- The moths
- Any nocturnal wildlife
While doing this, enjoy the therapy of the nocturnal aromas and sounds.
If you are a beginner, wanting a telescope for moon and star gazing — check out the Power Seeker Telescope and to capture the celestial views, get this smartphone mount for your phone to add a recording feature.
#3. Sea bathing
Sea bathing is an ideal opportunity for nature connectedness when visiting or living near or at the coast.
Did you know…
Sea bathing was historically recommended as a ‘cure all’.
The therapeutic use of seawater is called Thalassotherapy, coined in ancient Greece by Hippocrates.
Sea bathing has been linked to many health and wellbeing benefits.
And, is even viewed as a spiritual remedy and for ocean baptism.
For the clearest ocean water, you could capture the scene at these 34 places in the world.
For a panoramic view of your underwater world, a GoPro compatible snorkel mask with no gag reflex and tubeless design,click here for latest prices and reviews, would add pure magic.
What not to do:
Don’t discount the local risks — e.g. sharks, stingers, and rifts.
#4. Horticultural therapy
Horticultural therapy is about getting people involved in growing plants to provide them with the benefits of nature contact.
Kids love it. It’s great for seniors.
You can add magic by putting in special rocks and crystals, fairies and flags and capture the moment.
What to capture:
- The interactions
- The colors, the textures, the shapes
- The soil, the ants, the grubs, the blooms
#5. State and national parks
You can capture wild scenes at State or National Parks.
If you’re considering using a drone, you need to check local rules. Regulations in the US, for example,have limitations on the flying of drones within National Parks with hefty fines relevant.
Otherwise, you can check out the wildlife with explorer lenses and smartphone attachments.
- Handheld Monocular for wildlife watching — I love this: Polaris Optics Explorer High Powered 12X50 Monocular, and with a smartphone mount for a bonus recording feature!!
#6. Barefoot walking/running
Get in touch with the earth beneath your feet for a freeing experience if nothing else.
Like…don’t you just love to kick off your shoes?…I do.
What you’ll need:
Check out the Society for Barefoot Living.
Read about The Healing Benefits of Walking Barefoot.
Also, learn more about the 15 Health Benefits of Barefoot Running Shoes, According to Science, which includes eight tips for beginners.
Foraging provides an opportunity for connecting through collecting foods in the wild.
There are guided foraging programs in cities and information on sites, like learning to identify plants and forage for wild food and medicine (for Sydneyites) and foraging for traditional native foods.
To add magic, if you are into this, check out the foraging accessories on Terrafunga.
- GPS Device, like Garmin GPSMAP 64st High-Sensitivity GPS and GLONASS Receiver
- Foraging accessories
#8. Green exercise
Green exercise is physical exercise performed in nature.
To add magic, take a friend with you or, where you can, your pet dog.
Make it a family outing. Make it often.
Include a picnic or any of the above activities.
- Natural England
- Green Exercise Partnership between NHS Health Scotland, FCS, and Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH).
- Green Gym programs
- Barefoot running
You can build your own program for fitness in the wild.
The one certainty is we all benefit from connecting. Being in the fresh air and green spaces are best for our health.
In fact, we can’t live without it — literally!
- Kardan, Omid. 2015 Neighborhood green space and health in a large urban center. Scientific Reports 5, Article number: 11610 https://www.nature.com/articles/srep11610